‘Candyman’ is a popular urban legend that originated from Clive Barker’s short story, ‘The Forbidden’. The Candyman is a fictional character who is a man turned vengeful spirit after he was brutally tortured and burned alive. The vengeful spirit can be summoned by chanting his name five times in front of a mirror. In the movies, he is the main antagonist of the Candyman franchise.
Unlike the short story, Candyman, in the movies, is portrayed as a lean, tall, Afro-American man wearing a large, brown fur trenchcoat, a white cravat around his neck paired with grey pants, polished leather shoes, and a bloody hook in place of his right hand. Underneath his coat, which is a hollow skeletal, resides a swarm of real bees. After his death, the malevolent spirit when summoned massacres people and allows the survivors to spread the word of his legend to keep him immortal.
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With a sorrowful and tragic backstory, this vengeful curse feeds on the beliefs of his followers and kills anyone who tries to doubt or bring skepticism to his existence. Unlike most horror antagonist audience sympathize with his tragic past. At the same time, the parasitic and narcissistic nature that blinds him, makes him choose his existence over innocent human lives exhibiting a villainous intent.
- 1 How Many Candyman Movies Are There?
- 2 Are The Candyman Movies Connected?
- 3 In What Order Should I Watch Candyman Movies?
- 4 All Candyman Movies In Order: Watch Candyman Movies By Their Release Order
- 5 All Candyman Movies According To Highest To Lowest IMDb Ranking
- 6 All Candyman Movies Box Office Collection
- 7 Conclusion
How Many Candyman Movies Are There?
The Candyman had its first appearance on the big screen in the 1992 slasher film ‘Candyman’ followed by a sequel in 1995. Four years later the third installment of the franchise hit the theatres as ‘Candyman 3: Day of the Dead’. The last sequel is a spinoff/reboot of the franchise, ‘Candyman’ which was released in 2021.
Are The Candyman Movies Connected?
Yes. All the parts of the series are connected and share plots sequentially. The first movie shows the birth of the urban legend and thereon how throughout the years it manages to survive. The fourth installment of the franchise is a revival of the universe after a long hiatus but managed to keep a justified connection with the plot of the previous film.
In What Order Should I Watch Candyman Movies?
To understand the storyline of the movies, the series must be watched accordingly. There are no prequels in the series and the timeline follows the release order of the movies.
Candyman Movies: Release Order
- Candyman (1992)
- Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995)
- Candyman; Day of the Dead (1999)
- Candyman (2021)
All Candyman Movies In Order: Watch Candyman Movies By Their Release Order
Director: Bernard Rose
Writers: Clive BarkerBernard Rose
Stars: Virginia Madsen, Xander Berkeley, Tony Todd
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Release date: 16 October 1992
Helen Lyle, a student at the University of Illinois, stumbles upon an urban legend of the Candyman during her research. The Candyman is said to kill anyone who summons him by repeating his name five times in front of a mirror. The recent deaths connected to the Candyman lore intrigues Helen to take up the project. She and her friend, Bernadette Walsh, both skeptical, decide to put the legend to a test.
They perform the summoning but initially, nothing happens. During their further research on the project, Helen and Bernadette find out how the people of Cabrini-Green use the legend of the Candyman to deal with their problems. Both of them visit a murder scene where they discover offerings that were left for the Candyman.
They meet the victim’s neighbor, Anne-Marie McCoy, a single mother raising her baby boy Anthony. Helen and her husband, Trevor learn about the Candyman’s past from an expert, Professor Philip Purcell during a dinner talk. The Candyman is said to be the son of a slaveborn in the late 1800s who was later recognized as a well-known artist. He fell in love with a white woman, later impregnating her.
The woman’s enraged father hired a lynch mob, who tortured and killed the artist by cutting off his right arm, smearing him in honeycomb which lead to his death by bee stings. His body was later burnt to ashes and spread across the land on which Cabrini-Green was built. Upon returning to Cabrini-Green, a young boy named Jake informs Helen about a murder of a mentally-ill boy who was brutally castrated by the Candyman in a public toilet.
She goes to inspect the scene and finds a swarm of bees. She is attacked by a man who claims to be the Candyman but she recognizes her attacker, the head of a gang called the Overlords. The police assume the gang head to be the one responsible for all the murders. Later, in a parking garage, the real Candyman appears in front of Helen and hypnotizes her.
He explains how Helen’s dishonor toward the legend has resulted in the bloodshed of the innocents to maintain it. Helen loses her consciousness and blacks out. She wakes up covered in the blood in Anne-Marie’s apartment. She finds the pet dog, Anne-Marie decapitated and baby Anthony stole. Devastated, Anne-Marie attacks Helen in her wounded state but the latter gets arrested by the police instead while she tries to defend herself.
Trevor bails her out but thereon deluded Helen sees Candyman in a photo of Cabrini-Green. The Candyman appears in Helen’s apartment and cuts her neck causing her to bleed and pass out. Bernadette arrives at her apartment only to get murdered by the Candyman. Helen gets framed for the murder, gets sedated, and sent to a psychiatric hospital for treatment. Forward a month later, psychiatrist Dr. Burke interviews Helen for her upcoming trial.
To prove her innocence, she summons the Candyman resulting in Dr. Burke’s death. Helen grabs the opportunity and escapes the prison only adding to her list of framed crimes. She arrives at Trevor’s apartment to find out her husband living with a student. She confronts him before leaving for Cabrini-Green to rescue baby Anthony.
She discovers the Candyman’s lair where he offers Anthony safety in exchange for Helen’s submission. He offers her immortality and bees pour out of his hollowed body and mouth with which he kisses streaming down the bees down her throat. She faints and the Candyman vanishes away with Anthony. Helen wakes up and discovers a mural of the Candyman with his lover whose face surprisingly resembles Helen’s. Helen finds the baby in a pile of junk that was about to be burned.
She crawls and gets to the baby. She is grabbed by the Candyman from the back. People round-table the pile when it is set ablaze. The Candyman intends to burn Helen with the baby inside the bonfire to maintain his legend. Helen stabs him with a burning plank of wood and frees herself.
She tries to crawl out but her body catches on fire. She narrowly manages to escape with the baby unharmed but her severe burns end her life. The residents led by Anne-Marie pay their respect at Helen’s funeral. Guilt-stricken Trevor grieves and calls upon Helen’s name five times in front of a mirror upon which Helen’s vengeful spirit appears and kills him.
Candyman: Fear of the Flesh (1995)
Director: Bill Condon
Writers: Rand Ravich, Mark Kruger, Clive Barker
Stars: Tony Todd, Kelly Rowan, Caroline Barclay
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Release date: 17 March 1995
Three years after the Candyman incidents in Chicago, Professor Philip Parcell writes a book on the urban legend and host a lecture to discuss the life of the Candyman. The legend’s real name is revealed to be Daniel Robitaille born to a slave after the Civil War. To entertain the rumor of the legend, Professor Parcell jokingly repeats the Candyman’s name five times in front of a mirror.
After the lecture, Professor Parcell comes across Ethan Tarrant, an audience at the lecture. Ethan’s father, Coleman, was murdered while he was investigating the murder of three other men similar to those in Chicago hinting at the Candyman legend. Purcell ignores him and goes to a nearby bar where he is killed by the Candyman when he visits the restroom. Detective Ray Levesque and his partner Pam Caver are assigned the murder of Purcell.
They suspect Ethan because of his interaction with Purcell before the murder. Levesque interrogates Ethan in custody. Ethan’s mother Octavia and his younger sister Annie, an art teacher, arrive to defend him. Levesque, who firmly believes Ethan to be the murderer, forces him to confess his involvement in the murder. Meanwhile, Mathew Elli, one of Annie’s students confesses to having seen the Candyman.
Annie dishonors the legend by invoking its name proving it to be a hoax. It results in her husband, Paul’s death. The Candyman stalks Annie to kill her which reveals her pregnancy. One morning, Annie is visited by a couple of her students at her home. They inform her of the sudden disappearance of Mathew. Annie learns from Mathew’s father, Reverend Ellis, that Mathew used to frequently dream about the Candyman and made sketches of the events of his death.
Annie talks to her brother about their father, Coleman’s mysterious death. She learns about her father’s old friend Honore Thibideaux. Levesque, without Annie’s knowledge, follows her as a suspect. Honore tells her the story about Daniel Robitaille and how he fell in love with a white woman named Caroline.
Learning of their affair, Caroline’s father orders Daniel’s death earning him the necronym ‘Candyman’. While Daniel was dying, Caroline’s father taunted him with her mirror, capturing a part of Daniel’s soul in it. Later, Caroline took the mirror and hid it in Daniel’s birthplace which granted him the power to kill when summoned. Annie’s father comprehended that the legend’s demise lay in the hidden mirror and destroying it would end the curse.
The Candyman appears and kills Honore which makes Levesque believe that Annie was responsible for his death. Annie goes to Mathew’s house where his father shows her documents about Daniel and his birthplace. Annie realizes that she was born in the same house as Daniel. Reverend Ellis takes Annie to the cemetery and shows her Daniel’s grave with Caroline’s grave lying by his side. Annie also learns of Isabel, Caroline and Daniel’s daughter.
Annie tries to get to the bottom of the mystery and finds out that she is a descendant of Daniel after looking through old photos. Caroline bought Daniel’s house after his death where Ethan and Annie spent their childhood growing up. It was also the same house where Ethan found his father died when he summoned the Candyman to defeat him.
Back at the police station, Levesque forces Ethan to confess that Annie was behind all the murders and he was trying to cover up for his sister. In the process, Levesque mockingly summons the Candyman who kills him. Afraid, Ethan tries to escape but gets shot dead. Annie confronts her mother about the family’s connection with the Candyman.
She tells Annie that Coleman tried to connect their family with the Candyman which she personally denies. Her disbelief for the legend summons the Candyman who kills her in cold blood. Annie escapes the scene. With the police in her pursuit, she runs into Caver who tells her that she saw how Levesque was killed in the camera footage. She helps Annie escape. Annie goes to her childhood house which was also Daniel’s birthplace.
There she finds Mathew in an old shed. Going up a staircase, it gives in and Annie falls down right in the flooded basement where she finds Caroline’s hidden mirror and the Candyman. The Candyman tries to kill her as a sacrifice but she destroys the mirror before he could succeed. With the curse lifted, the Candyman is annihilated. Mathew saves and escapes with Annie after the slave quarter crashes into the river.
Both return back to Mathew’s home where they are blessed by Mathew’s father. After five years, Annie tells her daughter Caroline the story of their ancestors, naming her after Daniel’s lover. Annie kisses her and leaves the room. Caroline tries to invoke the Candyman with a mirror in her hand. Annie comes in and stops her before telling her to go to bed.
Candyman 3: Day of the Dead (1999)
Director: Turi Meyer
Writers: Clive Barker, Alfredo Septién, Turi Meyer
Stars: Donna D’Errico, Tony Todd, Alexia Robinson
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Release date: 9 July 1999
Twenty-five years later after the incidents experienced by Annie Tarrant, a Candyman-themed gallery event is hosted by artist Miguel Velasco in Los Angeles. Caroline McKeever, daughter of Annie and Paul McKeever, attends the exhibition. Caroline summons the Candyman by repeating its name five times in front of a mirror. A little while later, Miguel and his lover Lena are murdered by the Candyman with his hooked hand.
Later, Miguel’s gallery is broken in by a gang who steal the Candyman’s paintings. Caroline talks to her roommate Tamara about the Candyman. In a flashback, it revealed that Annie who was diagnosed with dementia was killed by the Candyman during her bath after she summoned him. Her death was presumed to be a suicide. The charges of Miguel and his lover’s murder were pressed on David de la Paz, a friend of Miguel who soon gets acquainted with Caroline.
Annie tells David everything she knows about the Candyman after envisioning the legend and the ghost of her late mother in a bathroom. David takes Caroline to his grandmother, a psychic healer, who tells her to destroy the good part about the Candyman in order to vanquish the evil part. Through visions, the psychic shows Caroline that the good part of the Candyman lay inside his paintings.
Later, the Candyman kidnaps David and hangs him from a hook pierced through his back in an abandoned building. The Candyman also kills Caroline’s roommate Tamara and Caroline is taken in for interrogation. Police detective L.V. Sacco is killed by the Candyman inside a police car when he mocks Caroline for believing in the Candyman.
Caroline escapes. With Sacco’s death, Caroline is assumed responsible for the murders and she also earns the hatred of Sacco’s partner Lt. Det. Samuel Deacon Kraft. Caroline goes to the abandoned building to retrieve and destroy the paintings that were stolen from the gallery. She gets captured by the gang and gets knocked out instead. She wakes tied to a chair. The gang summons the Candyman in hopes of sacrificing Caroline to the legend.
Candyman kills the entire gang instead. Caroline explores the building and finds David hanging wounded. Caroline tries to help David and Candyman suddenly appears. He asks her to give up her life. Caroline destroys a portrait of him by slashing it with a hook and similar wounds appear on the Candyman.
A candle catches the painting on fire and the Candyman bursts into flames. Caroline attends Daniel while Dept. Kraft shows up threatening to kill Caroline. He attempts to slash Caroline with a hook but gets shot dead by Dept. Jamal Matthews. In his final moment, Dept. Kraft calls out Candyman reminding Caroline of her mother’s words to destroy the myth.
Caroline tells Dept. Matthews that Dept. Kraft was the Candyman all along. With the news announcing Kraft as the Candyman, Caroline reassures herself that the Candyman is dead in front of a mirror and suddenly a hook bursts out of the mirror. She wakes up and realizes it was a nightmare. Caroline enjoys a picnic with David and his daughter Cristina over Annie’s grave celebrating the Day of the Dead.
Director: Nia DaCosta
Writers: Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, Nia DaCosta
Stars: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Release date: 27 August 2021
In the year 1977, the police of Cabrini-Green search for Sherman Fields, a homeless man who has a hook for his right hand distributing candies to children. He was suspected of putting razor blades in the candies after a girl was seen holding a blade during the Halloween season. Sometime later, Sherman approaches a kid doing laundry, and his appearance makes the kid scream out of fear.
The police run down and beat Sherman to death. Two weeks after his death, Sherman was declared innocent when razor blades in candies continued to be found. Over 42 years after Sherman’s death, in 2019, visual artist Anthony McCoy who lives with his girlfriend Brianna in Chicago visits Cabrini-Green after hearing the legend of Helen Lyle from Brianna’s brother Troy. Troy tells Anthony a misinterpreted version of Helen about how she kidnapped an infant and started killing people left and right before killing herself.
In Cabrini-Green, Anthony meets laundromat owner William Burke, who tells him about the urban legend of Candyman and the young boy who witnessed the death of Sherman Fields. Burke also implies how Sherman’s ghost can be summoned if Candyman is said five times in front of the mirror who will kill the summoner.
Inspired by the gathered details about the legend, Anthony makes an art piece showing the elaborate version of the stories which is put up in Brianna and her co-worker Clive Privler’s art exhibit. Unfortunately for Anthony, his art piece is ignored and criticized by art critic Finley Stephens. Enraged, Anthony storms off the exhibition in a drunk state. That night, Clive and his girlfriend Jerrica are brutally murdered by the Candyman after the latter summoned him through the mirror.
Anthony, back at his apartment, angrily paints gore-ish portraits of unknown people. Anthony drowns himself into the legend and the stories related to it. He encounters Sherman’s ghost twice while researching Helen Lyle’s Candyman. During his investigation, he learns of Finley’s death after she summoned the Candyman at Anthony’s suggestion.
Anthony confronts William about the legend and learns about Daniel Robitaille and his back story in which he was brutally murdered by his client after he was discovered having an interracial affair with the client’s daughter. His death gave birth to the legend Candyman and it has been revived for generations with the souls of other black men who were murdered or prosecuted under the legend’s name.
These souls became a part of the Candyman’s “hive” and the subjects of Anthony’s gruesome paintings. The legend spreads and starts gaining popularity. A group of teenage school girls curiously summon the Candyman in a bathroom and get murdered. Gradually, Anthony starts transforming from the place he was stung by a bee before meeting William.
Worried about the spreading infection, Anthony visits the hospital where he learns from his mother Annie-Marie, who reluctantly tells him that he was the child who was saved by Helen the night she died but got blamed for the murders committed by the Candyman. Anthony, with all hope lost, starts wandering in the row houses of Cabrini-Green. Brianna, worried about Anthony, visits Burke’s laundromat where she gets kidnapped by him and taken to an abandoned church.
Burke shows Brianna Anthony in a fugue state. Burker reveals that he witnessed Sherman’s death and a while later, Sherman’s spirit returned as the Candyman killed his older sister and his friend after being summoned. With a twisted sense of reviving the legend and trying to make it an instrument of revenge, Sherman cuts off Anthony’s hand and replaces it with a hook completing the transformation.
Sherman chases Brianna down to a row house where she kills him with a pen. Anthony arrives and collapses in Brianna’s arms. The police arrive and shoot Anthony dead. Brianna is detained and on their way to the police station, the officers threaten Brianna to confess that Anthony provoked them to encounter him.
Desperate, Brianna summons the Candyman, who appears in the guise of Anthony, ripping the officers apart. After killing the last corrupt officer in a gated alley, Candyman approaches Brianna with a swarm of bees around him. His face transforms into that of Daniel’s and instructs Brianna to tell everyone what she had witnessed.
All Candyman Movies According To Highest To Lowest IMDb Ranking
- Candyman (1992) – 6.7 with 88K
- Candyman (2021) – 5.9 with 53K
- Candyman: Fear of the Flesh (1995) – 5.2 with 13K
- Candyman 3: Day of the Dead (1999) – 3.9 with 6.7K
All Candyman Movies Box Office Collection
- Candyman (1992) – $25.8 million
- Candyman: Fear of the Flesh (1995) – $13.9 million
- Candyman 3: Day of the Dead (1999) – $20.2 million
- Candyman (2021) – $77.4 million
The Candyman franchise is classic American slasher movie series. It has captured the essence of the sub-horror genre. The Candyman’s intent and serial killing have also been justified with a more unique reason other than stereotypical psychotic and vengeful slashers. The original Candyman, Daniel Robitaille also has a tragic past which to some extent, gives an emotional touch to the character. After over two decades the franchise was continued, reviving the long-forgotten legend. With Tony Todd starring as the Candyman in the latest installment, the movie has provided the audience with a sense of nostalgia. Candyman (2021) has done a great job in continuing the tragic and terrifying legacy held by the original film of 1992.